Many of our best-loved plants first entered the South through Charleston. Here’s the fascinating story of how they got to the region's garden gateway and then to your backyard.
André Michaux, plant explorer and botanist to King Louis XVI of France, first presented the voluptuous blossoms of the camellia to friend and Charleston neighbor Henry Middleton in 1786. Today, you can find an original double red camellia called ‘Reine des Fleurs’ (“Queen of Flowers”), pictured, as well as hundreds of different camellia specimen at Middleton’s plantation, Middleton Place. Flowering in winter and spring, when many other favorites are still sleeping, camellias offer ruffled blossoms in glorious shades of pink, white, red, and even multiple colors.